December 8, 2020 Update from the Mayor
On Monday, Illinois health officials announced 8,691 new confirmed and probable case of COVID-19 and 90 additional fatalities. In Chicago, the seven-day positivity rate increased to 12.5%. There are now 755 cumulative confirmed cases of COVID in Hickory Hills and 15 COVID related deaths. Eight Hickory Hills residents have passed away since the beginning of November. Please continue to avoid indoor public places as much as possible and when inside public places please wear a mask. Multiple vaccines will soon be available, but catching COVID prior to vaccination remains a significant risk.
Best Practices to Create a Strong Password
The pandemic has become every hacker’s dream as more people have been forced online to do everyday tasks such as shopping, banking and working from home. Strong and unique passwords are more important now than ever before. Hackers, with the aid of password crackers, use different methods to identify your password from the data that is stored in or transmitted by computer systems. Many of the password cracking techniques are successful due to weak or easily guessable passwords such as password123, admin, or failure to change the default password.
If you use an 8-digit password with upper, lowercase letters and numbers, it would take a password cracker alone over 35 years to figure out your password as there are over 218 trillion combinations. That sounds like a long time but this time is reduced significantly if you use common words or phrases. A hacker trolling your social media pages will try your significant other and children’s names with a combination of birthdates, anniversaries, addresses, phone numbers or graduating class from college or high school.
So what makes a good password? By increasing your password to 12 digits including at least 1 special character, the password crackers detection time increases to 2.5 million years and 13.6 quintillion combinations if you do not use any specifically identifiable information. Make sure you choose 2-3 unrelated words and switch out a number or character for a letter(s) such as $taplerMa$kparr0t or p@per4c0rveTTe? If this seems like too much to remember, check into a password manager such as Dashlane, 1Password, LastPass or Keeper. These services create random, high-strength passwords for all of your websites and applications and stores them in a secure, encrypted location. You’ll only need to remember one password (and please don’t put that on a post-it-note on your monitor or under your keyboard!)
Just a reminder that there is no parking on any street from 2am to 6am and/or after a 2 1/2” snowfall. Vehicles parked on the street pose safety hazards and obstruct public services. While these parking restrictions are in effect year-round, they become even more important in the winter. It’s helpful if all vehicles parked on the roadway are removed as soon as it begins to snow. If you do have an overnight guest that needs to park on the street temporarily for one evening, they must register with the Police Department at www.hickoryhillspd.us Temporary allowances are restricted for weather and quantity of requests.
Property Tax News from Cook County Treasurer
Next year’s First Installment Cook County property tax bills are available at cookcountytreasurer.com so that property owners can make payments before the end of this year or plan their finances for 2021. A copy of the news release is attached and posted here. The release also has information about the two-month waiver of late fees next year.
Cook County Resident Cash Assistance Program
The Cook County COVID-19 Resident Cash Assistance program has been re-opened from 12/7 to 12/11, funded by the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The Resident Cash Assistance Program will provide a one-time payment of $600 to eligible households to address impacts from COVID-19. Income must be at or below 250% of the federal poverty level prior to March 1, 2020. Go here https://funduptogether.org/suburbancookcountyfund for details.
This afternoon Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, with the Cook County Bureau of Economic Development, announced an additional $7 million in funding which will allow the County through this program the ability to assist more than 18,000 eligible suburban Cook residents experiencing financial insecurity due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This is the 10th month of a national crisis that has continued to hit residents and businesses particularly hard, namely people who work in the restaurant, retail, entertainment, and arts industries. People need stability, providing direct cash assistance is one critical way to contribute to the well-being of our residents.
To find out if you may be eligible go to: https://funduptogether.org/suburbancookcountyfund
That’s What Friends Are For
Neither Snow Nor Rain Nor Heat Nor New Dance Moves Stays This USPS Courier
Have a great rest of the week and stay safe.